The town and municipal area of Albufeira come under the jurisdiction of the district of Faro in the province called the Algarve, on the south coast of Portugal. It covers an area of approximately 140 km² with more than 30.000 resident inhabitants. We invite you to know a little of its history and to watch a promotional video of Albufeira.
The place we know today as Albufeira is not just a “Capital of Tourism” in Portugal, It is also an area full of history, with vestiges of human occupation since the remote Neolithic and Bronze ages.
We invite you to watch this great aerial view video of Albufeira!
Initially occupied by the Romans, its original name was Baltum. The Romans were famous for their administrative skills and initiated intense agricultural, mining and commercial activities. Commerce with the North African coast led to a gradual influx of the Moors throughout the Algarve. The name of Albufeira comes from the Arab “Al-Buhera” which means “Castle of the Sea” – this name could derive from the existence of a fortification built on the rocky outcrop that dominated the lagoon on the lower part of the town. The Arabs made great strides in the development of agriculture.
The Christian conquest of the region began at the end of the 12th Century. After decades of conflict, a tight siege of the town by the Knights of the Order of Santiago, finally drove out the Moors in 1249, in the reign of King D. Afonso III. The town was awarded to the Military Order of Aviz and became part of the kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. King D. Manuel I awarded Charter to the Town of Albufeira on the 20th of August 1504 (date of the municipal holiday) and from that day the town was governed according to the legislation in force for the rest of the country.
Tourism began to flourish from the 1960’s and gave a breath of fresh air to the local economy. As Albufeira grew, so it became a “city” in 1986...
...and continues to evolve and expand even into the present day. Thanks to an ever-growing tourist industry, it has become one of the most desired holiday destinations in Europe. Montechoro, Areias de São João and the famous Oura have now become the new centres of attraction for visitors. The recent completion of the Albufeira Marina has extended the town’s urban development from its eastern side over to Galé and Salgados in the west.
Albufeira stages a wide range of cultural, celebrative, sportive and entertaining events. These attractions provide moments of leisure as much as for the inhabitants as for visitors and are a mark of life in the county and a proof of cultural identity conservation from its people.